Saturday, 10 April 2010

Protectionist Labour Tied in Knots

As CU posted last night, Brown is now reduced to protectionist last-refuge stuff which we know is against Mandelson’s better judgement. So how about this for an early test case ?

Our good friends Gazprom – yup, them as will be providing ever more of that gas we are going to need so much – look to be a bidder* for the Lindsey Oil Refinery and associated assets. Current owners Total have had enough of all the Union disputes – a bit of an irony, eh ? We know how much inward investors love Union trouble.

Now this is a prime piece of infrastructure. And not just a big refinery: there is a large and very efficient gas-fired power-plant integrated with it (though that is in separate ownership). Seems to fit the bill for a big Brown ‘no’, based on what we’ve seen leaked last night.

At the very same time, the FT reveals that Labour is going to let fly with a dirigiste policy on security of gas supply. A great time to go pissing off Gazprom, eh ?

So, Mandy - what’s a girl to do ? Ask your chum Deripaska, perhaps ...

ND


*PS: it’s being suggested Gazprom would have to pay around £1 bn for this lot. I doubt it – as we’ve commented several times before, Gazprom never pays cash for anything. They’d do an ‘asset swap’ with Total, who’d get a piece of some remote Siberian gas-field in return.

6 comments:

Demetrius said...

One has the feeling that in energy policy the UK man in charge is almost certain to be Mr. Cockup. Watch out for all sorts of unintended and expensive consquences.

mutleythedog said...

Blimey - none of this good is it..

Blue Eyes said...

The easy option is for us to stop using energy altogether.

Vote Green.

Nick Drew said...

it is certainly depressing when one knows that UK energy policy was for a long time very good and successful

BE has hit the nail on the head (well, not the last bit) - it's likely to become so expensive that our problems will be solved a quite different way ...

unintended and expensive indeed

roym said...

would total really settle for siberian licenses? isnt there always the danger of being muscled out of it in the future?

Nick Drew said...

roym your point is well-made but look at the list of companies that have settled for that kind of trade

led by e.on (it's a long and tortuous story), hotly followed by Statoil and, yes ... Total !